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UK inflation remained unchanged in January at 4% as food prices fell, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

However, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) warned that inflation remains the top concern for many businesses.

Food and non-alcoholic drink prices fell at a monthly rate of 0.4% in January, the first monthly decline since May 2021, the ONS said.

Core inflation – which excludes energy, food, alcohol and tobacco, and is closely watched by the Bank of England – remained unchanged at 5.1%, according to the latest figures from the ONS.

Services inflation rose to 6.5% in January, up from 6.4% a month earlier.

Alex Veitch, Director of Policy at the BCC, said: ‘Businesses need price stability, so today’s news that inflation remained unchanged in January is welcome.

‘However, firms consistently tell us inflation is their top concern.

‘The Bank of England has already warned that inflation is likely to remain volatile over the coming months because of global uncertainty. The Red Sea crisis is causing supply chain disruption and price rises for businesses.

‘Next month’s budget is an opportunity for the government to reassure and support businesses. Companies across the UK will be looking for a clear plan from the Chancellor that prioritises investment and skills.’

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McBrides Chartered Accountants